September 19 2014.

A taskforce tackling fraudulent VAT repayments in the Birmingham, Coventry, Stoke and Wolverhampton areas was launched today by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The taskforce is expected to recover nearly £7 million.

Over £22 million has been recovered as a result of VAT Repayments taskforces throughout the UK since 2012.
Taskforces expect to bring in over £100 million during 2014 to 2015.

HMRC’s Jennie Granger, Director General of Enforcement and Compliance, said: “HMRC taskforces are deployed in sectors and areas where we've detected a high risk of tax evasion. People being targeted by our taskforces have no intention of playing by the rules and could end up facing a heavy fine or even a criminal conviction.

“In a previous VAT Taskforce a trader who claimed to be exporting vehicles and second-hand white goods to Africa was found to have fraudulently reclaimed over £500,000 of input tax. He was sentenced tofour and a half years’ imprisonment and was disqualified from being a company director for six years.

“If you haven’t declared all of your income, we will find you and investigate.”

People who know someone who is evading their taxes can tell HMRC by calling the Tax Evasion Hotline on 0800 788 887.